For those who want to organize a mochitsuki event

First of all, it is a really nice experience to have mochitsuki in your house. You need one diligent person to steam the rice, two strong ones to pound it, six to eight patient ones to form the mochi, one to wash after eating and one to clean the starch from the floors. By the way, all those persons do not have to work all the time – they can also enjoy eating and whatever social interacting.

Second of all, here is some shopping and financial info from the 30.12.2012 mochitsuki: This year we had 19 adults and 10 children. Everybody could eat enough and almost everybody got take-away packs of various sizes. One big pack went also to the family who borrowed the equipment. We had much too much of anko, so there were two big jars of it left. We used
* 8.4 kg of mochi rice
* almost 2 kg of gemmai rice
* 20 big square sheets of nori
* no kinako (somehow we forgot it, even though we had it bought!)
* half of a big daikon
* 2000 yen worth of anko (kind of handmade, around 3 litres, much too much – around 2 l were not used)
* 200 ml of soysauce
* three packs of katakuriko (each 150 g, it was just enough so can be useful to have one more pack for emergency).
We spent around 9000 yen for shopping but if we knew better how much of what is needed, it could have easily become closer to 7000 yen. If adults pay 400 yen and children 200 yen, you can end up with a more or less clear budget.


Sayonara give away and sale

We are moving to Germany and would like to give away many and sell off some things. The list below. Please contact me for requests, details and / or photos at
Everything can be fetched in Takarazuka, Sakuragaoka 8-29 (12 min. walk from Hankyu and JR Takarazuka station), or – in some cases – sent to you, till end of Feb. 2013. The best time to see the stuff is any day between 2p.m. and 5p.m., other times can be also arranged easily. If you want to see the stuff, please contact me one day in advance to make sure that somebody is at home. Please feel free to forward this info to anybody who might be interested.

BICYCLE WITH A CHILD SEAT; Giant, 1.5 y.old, original price around 60000 yen, asking 26000 yen, good condition
CHILD SEAT FOR BICYCLE; Topeak, can be attached to the above bicycle, original price around 20000 yen, asking 8000 yen, 1.5 y.o., v. good condition

photo 2

ELASTIC BABY CARRIER; Babylonia, 6.4 m long, organic cotton, up to around 10-12 kg, original price around 60 euro, asking 1000 yen


Oliver Twist by David Lean (JP dvd), 100 yen
Macho Libre by Jack Black, 100 yen
8 Mile with Eminem, 100 yen
Tuda Amerika, 100 yen
Spiritual Cinema Circle, 2010 Vol. 7, 100 yen
Spritual Cinema Circle, 2010 Vol. 10, 100 yen



Table, not so beautiful, but easy to disassemble and to transport. Around 60×90 cm, can be extended to 60X120 cm.


Sofa, purple with wooden legs, height of seat 24 cm, width 130 cm, height of back 60, with two small square cushions


Low table / chabudai, black and dark blue wood, very easy to fold, some scratches

FOLDABLE STOOL; silver metal with light wooden seat, with mini back support



Lamp shade

CLOTHE HANGERS; many, black plastic
KITCHENWARE; various plates, cups etc.
FUTON; bottom, single, rather thin (good to put on a regular futon for additional isolation)

BED SHEETS, various stuff, good condition, plain textile (mostly white)

UMBRELLA STAND; to put in genkan etc., plain metal with a wooden handle

KOTATSU, small round table with an electric heater, needs some screws to be assembled, cable missing

WASHING MACHINE; National NA-F70DV6, not so great but still usable, I can cover part of the transport (up to 3000 yen)

FRIDGE; Sharp 2007, fridge 90 L, freeze 45 L, I can cover part of the transport (up to 3000 yen)

MOBILE PHONE; casio W63CA, has been used for 2 years, works very well, available  in the end of February, 1000 yen

Wireless Router – NEC WARPSTER Aterm WR4100N


Bathroom stools, one pink, one beige / white, very good for 2-3 y.o. children also in the playroom or in the toilet, 500 yen each


BICYCLE WITH A CHILD SEAT; Giant, 1.5 y.old, original price around 60000 yen, asking 26000 yen, good condition, available in the second half of February
CHILD SEAT FOR BICYCLE; Topeak, can be attached to the above bicycle, original price around 20000 yen, asking 8000 yen, 1.5 y.o., v. good condition, available in the second half of February
WOODEN BLOCKS, red&yellow&blue&green, a box with blocks from different sets, around 50 pieces
CHILD HIGH CHAIR; yellow metal

UMBRELLA STAND; for garden umbrella
TENNIS BALLS, around 40 still usable balls

HIGH SCHOOL GIRL UNIFORM (Takarazuka Kita High School, for clarity): jacket, sweaters, two or three skirts, two shirts. Something like this: Used but in good condition.

Potty. Very light!

Potty. Very light!

Various maps - Kansai area

Various maps – Kansai area

Whiteboard on one side, blackboard on the other side. Foldable. 500 yen

Whiteboard on one side, blackboard on the other side. Foldable. 500 yen

Randoseru, well used but still usable, 1000 yenRandoseru, well used but still usable, 1000 yen

Laptop case

Laptop case

Table clock

Table clock


Mochitsuki in Takarazuka

We are going to have mochitsuki (rice pounding? I guess you know it) at our place on Dec. 30 from 11 o`clock. Would be nice if you join.

We are going to cook the rice in advance so that we can start pounding around 11, and then consume it with all what is necessary (seaweed, soy sauce, kinako etc.)

Participation fee is
adults (above high school) – 400 yen
children – 200 yen

Place: Takarazuka, Sakuragaoka 8-29 (10-15 min. of a nice walk from JR / Hankyu Takarazuka)
Time: 11:00-14:00 (approx) Ones who want to join the preparation are welcome to join at 10:00 or even earlier.

Our house has some physical limitations so we can accept max. 25 persons. Please contact me if you want to come. Details on request. Please feel free to mail me at

We had mochitsuki also last year and in 2010. See below to check what it was like:

Docu film show in Takarazuka

There is a commune in Germany where people got fed up with nuclear energy and with monopoly of the huge electric power companies. Instead of complaining, they just started making their own power. Somebody made a really fascinating documentary about it. You can watch and discuss it on Monday, Dec. 10th, in Takarazuka Minamiguchi, from 10 a.m. Entrance 300 yen, you are welcome to come with your child (in this case it is better to contact us in advance, there may be a babysitter available to take care of your child). The film is in German with JP subtitles.
Details here: (JP only)

上映会の後に休憩をはさみ、「NPO法人 新エネルギーをすすめる宝塚の会」に会の活動に関するお話をしてもらいます。
前半 主催挨拶・映画上映
後半 「NPO法人 新エネルギーをすすめる宝塚の会」からのお話・質疑応答と意見交換
Sasayama Veg Box 
日時 2012年12月10日(10:00~12:00)
開催場所 日本キリスト教団宝塚教会

Christmas concert in Takarazuka

I found a flyer with information about a Christmas concert for parents and children. I don’t know the organizers (a group called – in katakana – World Music Project) but it looks a bit interesting and I am going to give it a try. Maybe you would like to join?
Time: 2012.12.16 (Sunday), from 2 p.m.
Place: Fremira Takarazuka (a cultural centre for children, youth and seniors), 5 min. walk from Hankyu Mefu Jinja station
The flyer says (if I understand right):
Program: Christmas songs, world songs, Japanese songs. Let’s try singing together a Cambodian song! Please bring music instruments that you have at home.
Entrance free.

A cafe for parents and children in Takarazuka

Well, it is definitely not any dream cafe, but at least worth mentioning: Mama and Child Community Cafe (母と子のコミュ二テイカフェ), open from Monday to Friday between 2 and 5 p.m. It is a small space (one big table, two or three small tables), with one type of coffee and two types of tee offered (100 yen each :), some space to play and some toys (nice and not so nice ones too; my favorite one was a heavy, real size baby doll). It is run by an NPO and some ladies from the group seem to be always there to chat with you and to entertain your child. The cafe is placed in Hana-no-Michi, in one of two big apartment houses (the one closer to Babies’R’us), in the third floor. If you want to check the cafe out, I recommend doing in on a rainy or cold day (it is pretty warm and cosy inside).
Takarazuka, Sakaemachi (栄町)1-6-1.
Contact: phone 0797 83 2312, mail